Alleged killer of Scot in Argentina faces trial

Finlay Ferguson worked in this theatre in Cordoba. Picture: Flickr/Wikimedia
Finlay Ferguson worked in this theatre in Cordoba. Picture: Flickr/Wikimedia
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Prosecutors have said they will seek a life sentence for the alleged killer of a Scots musician murdered at his home in Argentina.

Alan Torres, 20, will be accused of tying up Finlay Ferguson during sex before smashing him over the head with a two-kilo dumbbell in a surprise attack when he goes on trial.

State prosecutors will claim he left the 60-year-old expat, a youth orchestra conductor in his adopted city of Cordoba, with no possibility of defending himself after striking his alleged victim when he had got him off-guard. Torres, arrested 24 hours after the 24 August 2017 killing, has been charged with murder and theft.

Prosecutors revealed they will argue at his trial that by setting his alleged victim a trap after being invited into his home and killing him, Torres’ actions should be punished with a life sentence.

The suspect’s defence lawyers are expected to claim the aggravation of “alevosia” – the Spanish legal term covering the idea of a surprise ambush – does not exist to minimise any jail term if he is convicted.

A date for the trial has yet to be set and prosecutors have hinted it could be held behind-closed-doors – permissible under local law – because of the nature of the crime.

Father-of-two Mr Ferguson, who was born in the Govan area of Glasgow, was found naked on the bed of his home by concerned friends who called round to his house in the Guemes district of the central Argentine city of Cordoba. An autopsy found he had died from head injuries caused by at least four blows from the heavy dumbbell.

Police arrested Torres in the street 24 hours after the killing after discovering he had arranged to meet Mr Ferguson, conductor of the Youth Academic Orchestra of Cordoba’s Libertador Theatre, in his ground-floor apartment the day he was murdered. He had the Scot’s stolen mobile on him and the computer he allegedly took from the victim’s flat after the murder was subsequently found during a search of his home.

Robbery was ruled out as a motive for the killing after investigators discovered Mr Ferguson had banked money he had saved for an operation they initially thought had been taken by the killer.

Local reports at the time described the murder as a “crime of passion”, with one radio journalist describing the detainee as a man who earned his living working as a stripper or charging for sex.

State prosecutor Ruben Caro has always declined to comment, saying that what happened “touched on the victim’s private life”.

Mr Ferguson was living apart from his Argentine flautist wife Silvina Lopez, who he married in Scotland in 1983 before moving to South America with her, when he was killed.

His grown-up daughter Celina Ferguson said after he died: “Music was his all-consuming passion.

“He was always very grateful to how the school system in Scotland was at the time, because when he was in secondary school he was able to devote practically all his time to studying music.”